After years of working side-by-side in uncomfortably close proximity, the sound of Hermann's frantic chalkboard scrawling had become white noise to Newt.
Originally it drove him up the wall (Hermann demanded the lab be as quiet as possible while he tested out new algorithms), but now the familiarity of it was almost comforting.
That was different.
Newt heard Hermann swear under his breath, and he finally glanced up from writing his lab report.
Hermann's eraser and chalk were lying on the floor and the man himself was clinging to his ladder as if for dear life. He was worryingly high up.
One of his legs dangled precariously while the other, still supported on the rung, was forcefully bent under all his weight.
"Woah, hey there!" Newt called out in a panic, and rushed over to his lab partner. "Hang on, dude! I'm coming for you!"
One of Hermann's hands slipped slightly. Newt's stomach dropped.
Newt scrambled even faster.
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